We expunge and clear records statewide in all Kentucky counties. Note for persons living outside Kentucky or who do not want to be involved in the legal process: our attorneys may handle all filings and court appearances without your need to personally appear.
What exactly is expungement?
In Kentucky, when you are charged with criminal or traffic offenses, these charges appear on your personal criminal history record for all time. Even if you were falsely charged and the offense got immediately dismissed or even if the charge was very minor (noise ordinance, alcohol intoxication, etc.) and occurred decades ago, the charge will still show up.
Expungement is the legal process of making these charges disappear from a person’s criminal history record. It involves reviewing the relevant law and the particular individual’s criminal history, completing the relevant petition(s) to the court, potentially filing other legal documentation or attending court hearings, and ultimately requesting that the court “seal” the charges from being publicly reviewed.
What is the purpose of expungement?
The vast majority of people that contact our firm regarding expungement indicate that they have been applying for jobs and have had difficulty or were told that criminal charges prevent them from being considered for the position. This is very common. In a 2010 survey, “92% of responding employers stated that they subjected all or some of their job candidates to criminal background checks. Employers have reported that their use of criminal history information is related to ongoing efforts to combat theft and fraud, as well as heightened concerns about workplace violence and potential liability for negligent hiring.” U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. There are a variety of other reasons, but chances are if you are reading this you already think your situation warrants at least considering expungement.
The fact is that anyone can request a background check or a criminal history record for another person. Employers do this all the time to differentiate the numerous candidates for an open position. If a charge gets expunged, by Kentucky law it becomes hidden and will not appear when a criminal record report is ordered. This obviously means that when a person applies for a job in the future after the expungement has gone through, the employer will not see the charge(s) listed. And even better, by law, “[t]he person whose record is expunged shall not have to disclose the fact of the record or any matter relating thereto on an application for employment, credit, or other type of application.” See KRS 431.076(5) and KRS 431.078(5).
What can be expunged?
The most common question attorneys at our firm are asked regarding expungement is whether a particular charge or charges may be expunged. The law allows the following types of charges to be expunged:
Type of Charge
When Expungement May Occur
|Violations (including traffic tickets) that were dismissed, where the person was acquitted of the charge, etc.||60 days after dismissal or acquittal|
|Misdemeanors (including DUI) that were dismissed, where the person was acquitted of the charge, etc.||60 days after dismissal or acquittal|
|Felonies that were dismissed, where the person was acquitted of the charge, etc.||60 days after dismissal or acquittal|
|Violation (including traffic tickets) convictions||5 years after sentence or successful completion of probation, whichever occurs later|
|Misdemeanor (including DUI) convictions||5 years after sentence or successful completion of probation, whichever occurs later|
|First conviction for possession of controlled substance or any conviction for possession of marijuana, synthetic drugs, or salvia||Immediately after completion of treatment, probation, or other sentence*|
|First conviction for diversion-eligible offense (usually petty or pre-payable misdemeanors including: alcohol intoxication, minor possession of alcohol or marijuana, disorderly conduct, violation of noise ordinance, criminal trespassing, theft by deception, shoplifting, etc.)||Immediately after completion of probation, payment of fine, or other terms of sentence*|
|Juvenile misdemeanors or violation convictions, status offenses, and mental health issues||2 years after termination of the court’s jurisdiction or unconditional release from commitment|
*Via voiding of the conviction or setting aside the conviction, where available. Voiding of a drug possession charge has the same effect as expungement. Note: prepaying a fine results in a conviction. It is best to avoid a conviction in the first place. Do not prepay a fine or plead guilty before receiving effective criminal defense.
According to the relevant statutes, the following types of charges MAY NOT be expunged in Kentucky:
- Sex offense(s)
- Offense(s) committed against a child
- Serious felonies
- Charges for which legal proceedings are pending or currently being instituted
- Charges for which the offender is still on probation
- Federal or out-of-state charges
How much will expungement cost?
$240, or more depending on the particulars of your case:
|Expungement certification fee charged by the courts||$40|
|Expungement filing fee charged by the courts (only if applicable to your case)
|Our Legal Fees|
|Drafting and filing of up to 5 separate expungement petitions
|Drafting and filing of every 5 expungement petitions thereafter (only if applicable to your case)||$100|
|Drafting and filing of a written motion (only if applicable to your case)
|Drafting and filing of every written motion thereafter (only if applicable to your case)||$150|
|Attendance at hearing (only if applicable to your case)
|Additional services (only if applicable to your case)
||Varies based on service|
Will it work? Will the charges actually come off?
Our firm is very experienced in this area of the law. We know the nuances of the law and in most cases the specific local practices to prevent unnecessary delays or rejections of an expungement request. Upon receipt of your information and criminal record report we are able to pick out all charges eligible for expungement and the means by which to do this quickly and inexpensively. If we do not feel we can assist you in any aspect we let you know up front.
Our knowledge and experience comes in handy at various stages of the process which may include:
- Properly filing the petitions, motions, etc.
- Contacting and negotiating with prosecutors
- Appearing in court and getting the request approved by the judge
- Appealing denials
- Keeping the client updated and informed along the way
Generally speaking, clients prefer us to handle the process for them, which we are happy to do. That means we proceed efficiently behind the scenes, taking care of court appearances for the clients and providing them with updates and copies of paperwork we receive. We find clients prefer to minimize their involvement with the legal system so we try to facilitate this as best we can.
How do I get started with my expungement?
• Submit your basic information to our firm using our 256-bit encrypted secure online form and submit payment of $20 for our attorney review of your expungement eligibility.
• This will give us the necessary details for our experienced expungement and record clearing attorneys to thoroughly review your case.
• One of our attorneys will email you regarding the charges we believe may be expunged.
• We will list the charges we believe may be cleared and describe the process including all costs involved. You then choose what you would like us to do.
Why is there a fee? I only want to see if expungement is even possible for me?
- Our website contains general legal information. By analyzing your criminal records in light of the relevant law and offering you a recommendation as to expungement eligibility and how to proceed, we are offering legal advice. The Bar Association prevents us from offering legal advice to persons who are not clients. We charge a nominal fee of $20 to allow us to provide this detailed eligibilty report.
- The eligibility review is comparable to a medical diagnosis. When you see a doctor with a problem and inquire how to correct it, the doctor uses his or her expertise to recommend a solution. Similarly, by using our legal knowledge and experience, we will let you know if any criminal record may be removed and the most efficient means of doing so. Like a doctor visit, it takes some time for our attorneys to provide a thorough analysis and report for your individual circumstances. You need not actually schedule an appointment or come to our office, but there is a small charge for our reviewing time and getting back to you personally.
- We have streamlined the intake process and respond quickly to all completed requests for eligiblity assessments. We therefore save you the time and effort of trying to figure out this process yourself, or going ahead with the filing and having it rejected for errors or lack of eligiblity. You will have definitive answers on whether and how to proceed. We believe when you see the thoroughness of the report you will believe the cost is well worth it. It will give you the peace of mind to know whether something can be done to clear your records, and if so, that experienced attorneys are prepared to take the appropriate steps.